Primary Care Physicians in Demand
Recruitment of primary care physicians outpaced demand for specialists and other types of doctors last year, marking the first time since the 1990s that primary care has been the most in-demand practice area, according to a recent report by physicians recruiting firm Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
From March 2005 to April 1 the most common recruitment search performed by Merritt Hawkins was for internists, with family practitioners ranking second, according to the report. During the study period, demand for internists increased 46%, and demand for family practitioners rose 55%, the report says.
Merritt Hawkins said demand for primary care physicians is increasing as the population grows and ages, but fewer medical school graduates are specializing in general medicine. Average annual salary offers were $162,000 for an internist and $145,000 for a family practitioner, compared with $351,000 for a radiologist and $342,000 for a cardiologist, the report finds.
However, salary offers for internists have increased 10% to 15% in the last few months, Kurt Mosley, senior vice president for business development at Merritt Hawkins, said. Internists can increase their recruitment potential by subspecializing in cardiology, gastroenterology or other areas, he added (Agovino, AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/24).